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Thanksgiving meal diversity

Harvest festivals became a regular affair in New England. Thanksgiving was observed on various dates in the states until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as the national Thanksgiving holiday. In 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a law fixing Thanksgiving on the fourth (not always the last) Thursday in November.

Gathering Together and Helping Out

A woman inspects a batch of turkeys at Neighborhood House in Calexico, California, where hundreds of meals are served to needy families every Thanksgiving.

Many Thanksgiving traditions come from that 1621 harvest celebration. Sheaves of wheat or corn are often used as decorations. Roast turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie are commonly served at Thanksgiving dinner. But as the U.S. population becomes more diverse, so does the Thanksgiving meal. Nowadays, sitting next to the turkey might be a dish of tamales, tabbouleh, couscous or sauerkraut.

And of course....SHORTBREAD!!!

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